In a May blog post, we talked about Citrix Cloud + Azure Government and Aussie music legend Keith Urban. Riffing on a line in his ballad, Blue Ain’t Your Color, we turned the title of the tune on its head. We asserted that indeed, the beautiful shade of blue called azure really is your color. In fact, if you’re a US government IT leader running Citrix Cloud — or for that matter — a business partner designing solutions for this audience, you should embrace Microsoft’s Azure Government — now.

Why? Because Microsoft has worked tirelessly to develop sovereign cloud solutions that apply to a broad enterprise customer base. Among those is its government-only cloud, Azure Government. The company designed it to uphold the foundational principles of security, privacy & control, compliance, and transparency. Citrix is in lockstep with Microsoft, having fine-tuned its Workspace services accordingly.

What that means is that fears — the ones these government IT leaders have regarding security and regulatory compliance — can be diminished. In fact, with Azure Government, the stumbling blocks that have prevented many government entities from embracing cloud technology are gone. That’s why, like our buddy Keith, we couldn’t help riffing one more time about this. It’s near and dear to our hearts.

You may recall that Azure Government includes three core components: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), as well as a number of other services. Just like Microsoft Azure, it supports GEO-synchronous data replication and auto scaling.

Let’s say you’re an IT professional working in a government entity that has strict cloud compliance guidelines, or a solution purveyor from a business-partner company. You may think that Citrix Cloud won’t work for you or your client’s company now. But, it will.

Customers that qualify for Azure Government always have been able to use the commercial Citrix Cloud XenApp and XenDesktop Service to manage apps and desktops in Azure Government-based resource locations. The general availability of Machine Creation Services support for Azure Government now makes that even easier. Citrix was first vendor to bring this to market.

What’s more, in a matter of a few short months – by the end of the summer – the Citrix Cloud management plane will be available from within Azure Government too. Even as we do this, it’s important to again emphasize that the majority of government agencies and partners already are successfully taking advantage of Citrix Cloud with Azure Government. And those same U.S. federal, state and local agencies are realizing long-term benefits.

To what might we attribute the success of government agencies employing this type of Citrix Cloud strategy? Three things. First, these entities use classic Citrix installable software with Azure Government. This enables the agencies to capitalize on cloud scale economics by moving virtual servers to Azure Government. While the organizations are responsible for managing and running the Citrix infrastructure along with any app and virtual machines that process apps and data, they have a distinct advantage. They can use the Citrix + Azure Government solution right now.

A second reason for success is that these agencies have implemented the XenApp and XenDesktop Service to deploy apps and desktops to Azure Government-based resource locations.

A third success factor is that government organizations have deployed ShareFile Service to provide access to customer-managed Storage Zones in Azure Government.

Using these customer-managed Storage Zones, it is possible for local, state and federal government customers that have deployed the commercial Citrix Cloud ShareFile Service to store their critical files and data in the highly-secure storage offered by Azure Government. This ensures that data at rest meets security compliance guidelines. At the same time, the agency continues to get the full benefits of ShareFile.

We’re continuing to work feverishly on additional plans to support federal and local and state government customers with complex security and compliance needs. We realize that their requirements are more stringent than those for using a commercial cloud service such as Citrix Cloud. For this type of entity, managing apps, desktops and data stored in Azure Government is the right answer.

But what about Keith Urban? How does he fit into all of this? He always seems to have the right words for any situation, so I’ll borrow a few lines from another favorite, Got it Right This Time:

Yeah, after all the crazy days

Made it through

I can’t picture myself with no one but you

And I think I got it right this time.

OK, I’ll admit, he was talking about his wife, not about government leaders, or fears or cloud platforms, or for that matter, any of us. That’s why I can’t help myself — I’ll take a moment to riff on his lyrics to bring the point home:

Azure — It’s a paradise-like shade of blue

And it’s also a secure data management platform designed just for you.

For government IT leaders bein’ scared, it’s been a long hard climb

But I think together we got it right this time!

If you’re not already using it, take a moment to familiarize yourself with Microsoft Azure and Citrix Cloud. Or better yet, ask your sales rep to visit and answer all your questions.

Are you attending Microsoft Inspire in Las Vegas July 15-19? Visit us at booth #735 for more information and an in-person demo. Or investigate a partnership.

Also, be sure to attend this session, SPON26t – Citrix Cloud Services + Microsoft Azure = perfect business sense, hosted by Citrix speaker Brian Koubleur and this one, AP122t – Deploying Citrix published apps and desktops for Government Agencies, hosted by Steve Downs of Microsoft.

Many thanks to Alex Balcanquall, Director of Product Management for Citrix Cloud Services and Paul Carley, Citrix Senior Product Marketing Manager for data provided for this blog post.

Follow on Twitter:

@Citrix, @XenApp, and @XenDesktop

Microsoft @Azure

Kathy Holoman @techiewahoo, Alex Balcanquall @alexbal, Jan Andersen @andersenjan1, and Paul Carley @paulcarley15